Not Just the Kitchen, the leading website geared to Baby-Boomer Women. For more than 15 years, we have posted articles written specifically for women who fit into this unique age bracket. Many are still working at jobs, raising children and looking after their parents. Here Baby-Boomer Women can kick back, relax and read some of the 1000 informative articles that we have sourced for them.
Many Baby-Boomers are feverishly looking for ways to reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, and generally regain a more youthful appearance. Here we compare two popular treatments.
Fat cells taken from one part of your own body are injected back into another area replenishing the skins collagen layer. This has the effect of smoothing lines and wrinkles and plumping out the treated area.
Botulinum toxin A is injected into affected areas and the botulinum toxins block the signals that would normally tell your muscles to contract. If an area of the body can’t move, it can’t wrinkle.
What areas can be treated?
The most common areas for treatment are frown lines and crows feet. They can help fill out deep facial wrinkles, creases and furrows, sunken cheeks, skin depressions and some types of scars. Fat cells are injected in the cheeks, under the eyes, the lips, or around the mouth and lips adding a fuller, more sensuous look.
Botox treatments help to reduce or even eliminate crow’s feet, frown lines and forehead creases. Sometimes, neck bands can also be minimized.
How long does it last?
Majority of patients find that at least half of the injected fullness disappears within 3-6 months.
The skin will smooth out over about 5 days. Improvement may continue for as long as a month and could last up to 4 months.
How long will the treatment take?
The treatment usually takes about 90 minutes depending on how many injections are needed to achieve your goals.
This procedure can be done on a lunch break and requires no anesthesia.
What is the recovery time?
Recovery time will depend on the extent of the procedure but normally is a week to 10 days. Patients can usually return to work within a few days to a week.
Patients can resume normal activity immediately.
Are there any side effects?
Most people experience some swelling and redness for the first 24-48 hours. Itching and mild discomfort are not uncommon. There is no risk from an allergic reaction because the fat is harvested from your own body. Infection is extremely rare and if needed antibiotics will be given for 5 days.
There are very few side effects to this procedure. AAn allergic reaction is rare with Botox. A small amount of brow or lid droop is possible but unusual and can be avoided by not treating the area just above the outer portion of the brow.
What are other treatments for wrinkles?
* Restylane is an injectable gel which is made with hyaluronic acid. It is used for filling moderate to severe wrinkles around the nose and mouth.
* Collagen injections are approved for correcting soft tissue deficiencies such as wrinkles and acne scars.
* Topical creams
* Chemical peels
* Laser and electro-surgical resurfacing
This article was written specifically for notjustthekitchen.com.
A woman can make love for other reasons besides strong desire. To feel close, or emotionally connected to her partner. To promote loving feelings.
By: Stephen Snyder, MD
Several years ago, a merchant in my neighborhood learned that I was both an MD and a sex therapist. The next time I was in his shop, he asked me if I could get him some Viagra.
“How long have you had erection problems?” I asked.
“I don’t,” he answered. “But my wife and I have been married for 30 years. To tell you the truth, sometimes I’m too tired or preoccupied to get hard without the Viagra.”
What was this man’s problem, exactly? He wanted to have sex with his wife, even though he wasn’t feeling that strongly turned on. Evidently, there were other reasons he wanted to do it.
Sound familiar? Of course: He wanted to make love like a woman.
Things women take for granted about sex.
Women can have sex with their partners any time they want. They don’t have to be very excited. Sure, some lubricant might be required, especially over 50. But the absence of peak excitement isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.
A woman can make love for other reasons besides strong desire. To feel close, or emotionally connected to her partner. To promote loving feelings. Or just for the simple pleasure of the experience. Even occasionally to keep a partner happy even though she might be too tired or preoccupied to be really into it. A useful book on the subject calls it “Good enough sex.”
One wouldn’t want ALL one’s sexual experiences to be like this. But once in awhile, it’s OK. Especially if the alternative is not to make love at all. If there’s one thing that sex research repeatedly shows about successful long-term couples, it’s that they keep having sex even when if the sex isn’t always earth-shaking. The ritual itself is important.
Men traditionally haven’t been able to do sex very easily under conditions of lower arousal. Especially over 50, when it ordinarily takes more stimulation to stay hard than it did at 20. If a man for whatever reason hasn’t been strongly turned on, conventional sex hasn’t usually been an option for him.
Viagra changed all that. Since the blue pill came on the market in 1998, a man can take Viagra and have sex even if he’s tired or preoccupied and just wants some loving and affirmation but isn’t feeling peak excitement. In fact, just having a good erection can help a man feel more in the mood.
Is Viagra good for sex?
There is often strong partner resistance to a man’s boosting his erection through chemistry though. Women especially are used to the self-affirmation that occurs when a man gets hard (as Mae West famously put it) simply because he’s “happy to see her.” It’s worth it for a man to communicate that he needs sex for closeness and affirmation and pleasure as well. Just like she does. And that worrying about his erection just gets in the way.
Some couples worry whether taking Viagra under such conditions is a wholesome or natural thing to do. If it just takes more sexual stimulation now to keep him hard, wouldn’t it be more natural to simply intensify the excitement?
Maybe, but not necessarily. Intensifying excitement sounds like a great idea. But in practice, having to do things to get the man hard enough can be a bit of a burden. And it can take time. Sometimes so much time that the moment is lost.
Sound familiar? Of course. It’s the same predicament that women find themselves in when they can’t get lubricated or can’t climax. Deliberate efforts to manufacture excitement often backfire. They usually aren’t very erotic.
My advice? It depends on the couple and the situation. But sometimes Eros is best served by taking the Viagra. Then a man can stop worrying about his erection, and get back to making love.
Sometimes it’s best for a man once in awhile to make love like a woman.
About the Author:
Stephen Snyder, M.D. is a sex and couples therapist, psychiatrist, and writer in New York City. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City and chairman of the Consumer Book Award Committee for the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR). He has treated patients at his practice for 25 years, is a guest on major media outlets nationwide, and writes for Psychology Today and Huffington Post. He lives with his wife and children in New York City.
Those who were able to corral their horses and lead them to safety found that after the fire there was nowhere for the horses to return.
The devastating fires in California burned more than 330 square miles damaging homes, displacing animals and causing loss of life.
Horse owners were fighting the fire and trying to save their animals any way they could. One woman managed to squeeze her pony into the back seat of her Honda Accord.
Those who were able to corral their horses and lead them to safety found that after the fire there was nowhere for the horses to return.
The International Friesian Horse Show Association (IFSHA), a member association of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which is the branch that sends equestrians internationally and to the Olympics has been addressing the requests for assistance from its members in California who have been affected by the wildfires.
Laurie Statam, a member of the board of directors for IFSHAI asked a lady who owns one of the farms since there’s nothing left, what do you need first. She replied, “footing, there’s 6” of ash everywhere and the horses can’t walk on it and have it go into their lungs. Then pipe corrals, buckets and fly masks. Fly season starts in February and there’s no vegetation to handle the bugs, they will go right for the horses.”
In order to raise funds, IFSHA is offering From Ashes WE RISE apparel for a donation including shipping:
T-shirts $25 Mens small – XLarge
Oversize Ts $27 XXL-XXXXL
Hoodies $45 small – XLarge
Oversize Hoodies $50 XXL-XXXXL
Long Sleeve T-shirts $30 small – Xlarge
All money received through sales of these items will be distributed through the IFSHA Treasurer as specified by the Board of Directors.
Orders can be made through PayPal links from FaceBook page @IFSHAFireFund. Please denote the size in the comments section. Each order will be mailed as designated through PayPal. Otherwise, checks can be sent to:
Much time and effort, from artwork through management, have been donated to make this happen. It is hoped that through the generosity of people, a sufficient amount of funds will be raised to provide assistance to those who need it.
Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when your blood sugar (blood glucose) reaches unusually high levels. Prolonged high levels of glucose can cause all manner of problems.
You either have diabetes or you know someone who has it. Frankly, it’s a rampant disease in the United States, affecting great swaths of the population.
But despite the widespread nature of it, there is still a lot of ignorance surrounding that what, why, and how of the disease.
There’s good news when it comes to current diabetes research, but because we’re relatively ignorant of how the disease works, we’re not as excited as we should be.
That needs to change.
It’s time to understand diabetes and then take a look at all the thrilling things that are happening.
What Is Diabetes?
Before you can appreciate the significance of the new research, you need to understand a bit about diabetes.
Diabetes is a disorder that occurs when your blood sugar (blood glucose) reaches unusually high levels. Imagine a bunch of Snickers bars swimming around in your blood. While that’s not exactly how it works, you get the point. You’ve got too much glucose coursing through your system, which can cause serious issues.
Prolonged high levels of glucose can cause all manner of problems, such as:
* Eye problems like glaucoma
* Nerve damage
* Heart disease
* Kidney disease
* Circulation issues
* And much more
Diabetes is no joke. Approximately 30.3 million people in the United States are afflicted by the disease and another 84 million are in the prediabetes stage.
Thankfully, it’s a treatable disease, and there are specific steps you can take to both prevent and treat it. If you know what to do when you can wrestle glucose levels back under control and keep them there.
What’s The Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?
There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. Simple enough.
Type 1 diabetes affects only 5 out of the 100 people who have the disease, and it’s caused by a person’s immune system attacking the cells that release insulin. When all insulin production is eliminated, cells can’t absorb glucose, which is what they use to produce energy.
Type 2 diabetes can occur at any age and usually happens during adulthood. A person afflicted with this type of diabetes can’t use insulin effectively or right away, which is called insulin resistance. If it continues to get worse, the pancreas gets weaker and weaker, unable to produce much insulin. This is an insulin deficiency.
For more information, click on the following links:
I thought I wasn’t allowed to be the sensitive, sweet girl, so I built myself a shell. It was strong, tough, and made me untouchable. It seemed like the better way; like that was what people wanted me to be.
Have you ever wondered which parts of you, could change your life dramatically for the better if you just stopped shoving it away? What parts of you does God see that makes Him smile? What parts of yourself that if you gave it a voice, might be a key to your freedom? Are you willing to find them, peel off the layers of shame and condemnation so that you can begin to see them as the gifts that they are? What if the thing you have deemed as your greatest flaw, is actually your greatest strength?
For me, it was my sensitivity. Despite the strength that I’ve been told I project, I am actually a pretty delicate flower inside. Unfortunately, in my formative years, my family would mock and belittle me for my fragility. So, I learned to swallow it down and pretend not to be sensitive or tender. Well, what I have learned over many years of poor choices, is that emotions are much like poop. If you aren’t releasing it, it’s probably gunking up your system and it will eventually backfire. All that shit has to go somewhere, otherwise, it WILL poison you from the inside out. Emotions aren’t inherently toxic, but when they are ignored, swallowed down, or judged, they ferment and will infect you (as well as everyone around you).
I thought I wasn’t allowed to be the sensitive, sweet girl, so I built myself a shell. It was strong, tough, and made me untouchable. It seemed like the better way; like that was what people wanted me to be. However, I really wanted people to love me… the real me, the sensitive me. The one who no one was seeing anymore because I was busy hiding in my protective shell.
I learned to swallow down all my emotions… good and bad. I packed them neatly in a box in the back of my mind labeled “do not f…ing touch.” As crafty as that was, it just didn’t work long-term. What I know now is that when emotions are swallowed down like that, they work like a pot of boiling water…eventually you create enough steam and the lid will blow right off. And blow I did. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t, while actively hiding the parts of me that are REAL and that WANTED to be seen. I was fighting my own identity in some twisted effort to fit-in and be liked, and so the pressure in the pot would build until I exploded on everyone around me. And I did this, again and again, and again. Continuously alienating everyone around me, sabotaging my own happiness due to the deep inner conflict I had around been my true self.
So, I ask you, what’s the point of pretending if it doesn’t f—ing WORK? Deep down, we all know it doesn’t. Instead of being “soft” I became “brash.” I was getting the same amount rejection pretending to be someone I wasn’t, and I was making myself miserable in the process.
I AM BOLD
I AM BRAVE
I AM LOVE
I AM BEAUTY
I AM LIGHT
I AM JOY
I AM F…ING AWESOME
What is this?
I call this my I AM board. There are so many voices in our modern world telling us who we should be, what to think, how to act, or what to look like. I use this as a daily a reminder of who I AM and what I choose. It’s much easier and a lot more fun to stand in what you ARE, rather than to resist it. Stop fighting to be a person you don’t want to be…. it’s a waste of energy. Instead, start owning who you ARE, and start allowing yourself to appear as your true self (without all the other BS attached).
So, this is the next place where the rubber meets the road: conscious choice. You can’t change what you’re not consciously choosing; if you are subconsciously believing or agreeing with something that is false, then that belief will run the show. The point of the I AM board is two-fold:
* To consciously choose something I WANT, and
* To be HONEST with myself about what I’m subconsciously choosing.
About the Author:
WHO IS KATIE HULBERT?
As a cult and abuse survivor, Katie Hulbert is quickly becoming a powerful voice within the self-help community. Having been raised in the shepherding movement, within a family deeply entrenched in church (cult) leadership, she was subjected to years of spiritual, emotional and sexual abuse.
At the age of 25, after an intense battle with suicide and a power encounter with the divine, she started on her healing journey. Her mission now is to empower others to do the same. Her approach, grounded in scientific and spiritual truths, is from the perspective of one who has actually had to walk the road to freedom, one step at a time. As a result, she is a no-nonsense, straight-talking and extremely transparent expert on overcoming fear and shame.
You can connect with me at www.shifthappensanyway.com or www.instagram.com/kthulbert
Unfortunately, we live in a time when identity theft and fraud are running rampant. Almost every month we hear of major security breaches, with companies like Yahoo, Uber, Equifax, and Dropbox all compromised.
When these types of breaches occur, millions of usernames and passwords are hacked, often resulting in identity theft and fraud.
So what can you do to protect yourself in 2018? What steps can you take to ensure that you don’t get hacked?
We’re going to break down the how, what, and why of protecting yourself, touching on everything from your digital accounts to your bank account.
Many times, identity theft starts with a digital breach. From there it often moves to bank accounts and credit cards, which can be an absolute nightmare. In order to protect yourself against these things, follow these ten steps.
#1 – Shred your documents
Don’t toss bank statements and credit card receipts in the trash. Destroy them using a cross-cut shredder or shredding service.
#2 – Strengthen your passwords
Use random combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters. Create different passwords for each account and alter them frequently. Alternatively, you can use a password manager like OnePass or Dashlane to create and manage all your passwords for you.
#3 – Check your credit reports
You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Request one report every four months and review it for suspicious or incorrect information. LINK TO CREDIT REPORT SERVICE
#4 – Guard your Social Security Number
Avoid sharing it when it’s not absolutely necessary, and don’t keep it, or your Social Security card, in your wallet. After all, this is typically a key identifier for many accounts.
#5 – Be smart about social media
It is smartest to leave personal details, such as your birthday or address, off your profiles. This information can be used in an effort to get you to click on malicious links. Utilize your privacy settings and be cautious about whom you accept as a connection.
#6 – Secure your phone
Lock your device with a password, turn off Bluetooth when you’re not using it, and be cautious when downloading apps — only download from sources you know and trust. Additionally, consider using end-to-end encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp.
#7 – Know the signs of phishing
Phishing is when a scammer creates a legitimate-looking email or contact that is intended to steal personal for information. For example, they may create a password reset email that looks like it’s from Google in an effort to get you to type in your password. Watch out for emails, links, or unsolicited phone calls asking for your personal information.
#8 – Monitor your financial statements
Report any suspicious activity in your bank accounts and credit card accounts as soon as you notice it. Many banks offer fraud protection apps that are worth investigating for another level of security. If your bank or credit-card company offers free online or mobile apps that will warn you of suspicious account activity as soon as it’s detected, sign up for them.
#9 – Keep your mail safe
Stealing your mail is one of the easiest ways for a thief to steal your identity. Consider using a locked mailbox or P.O.Box, and have the post office hold your mail if you go out of town. Additionally, shred any mail that could contain personal information such as credit card or bank statements.
These guidelines can help you keep sensitive information safe. Remember to be proactive to protect your personal information. These tips will be useless after your identity is stolen.
For more information including:
* Fraud Alerts and Security Freezes
* How Do I Protect My Identity For Free?
* How Do You Prevent Credit Card Skimming?
* How Do I Protect My Financial Accounts?
Some experts say that sleep is a greater women’s health issue than men’s due to monthly hormonal changes, pregnancy, and menopause.
A decline in the production of human growth hormone may accelerate aging, and a lack of deep sleep significantly reduces this production, according to a recent study. Although men do have sleep problems, they’re far more prevalent in women. In fact, the average woman sleeps less than 6.5 hours per night during the entire work week.
The study, conducted by the University of Chicago on participants who do not have sleep problems, used audio stimulation to disturb the sleep of the study subjects so they would not be able to easily get into or stay in the deep sleep phases. They slept for the same length of time, but their deep sleep was reduced by 90 minutes. This resulted in a nearly 25% reduction in the production of human growth hormone.
This particular study was done on men but, according to University Services, which offers continuing education for physicians, 26% of women have trouble falling asleep, 35% of women awaken more often during the night, 24% wake up too early, 58% experience night time pain, and 24% get less sleep than they need to function. The number of men experiencing these problems is 18 to 35% lower.
Some experts say that sleep is a greater women’s health issue than men’s due to monthly hormonal changes, pregnancy, and menopause. However, many women also experience problems because they are juggling work, taking care of a home, and raising children. This is especially true for single mothers, of which there are nearly 10 million in the U.S.
As the University of Chicago study found, human growth hormone production is reduced under these conditions. But the women’s health problems don’t stop there. Research shows that it can also result in cardiovascular disease and weight gain. In fact, according to a study published in Obesity, researchers who reviewed 23 studies found an undeniable link between weight gain and sleep.
Women’s health could be greatly improved simply by getting sleep under control.
At COGNITURE SMARTER HEALTH they are trying to draw much-needed awareness to natural sleep aids and healthy lifestyle choices as the first treatment option for insomnia. This infographic is a quick easy way to learn more facts about insomnia.
A striking black and tan German Shepherd dog, Prince had been with Linda for seven years. Guarding her. Protecting her. Loving her. At just a year old, his protective instincts were well-formed.
Her life is filled with love stories. A thoughtful and devoted husband of forty-seven years, precious children, and adorable grandbabies. And she lives on an idyllic farm in the south with lush rolling hills, a sparkling lake, towering sunflower fields, and tall, sturdy pines that stand like sentinels. Dogs, cats, horses, ducks, geese, and other wildlife add dimension and beauty to her life. But one special dog will remain in her heart, leaving a void that will be with her forever.
“I’ve had dogs all my life, but he was my heart dog.” Her voice had a charming southern twang.
“What’s a heart dog?” I asked.
“One that finds its way into your heart and never leaves.”
A striking black and tan German Shepherd dog, Prince had been with Linda for seven years. Guarding her. Protecting her. Loving her. At just a year old, his protective instincts were well-formed. If Linda moved, Prince mirrored her, leading the way and looking over his shoulder to make sure she was following him.
“In his presence, I felt completely safe. I never had a doubt how much he loved me. He had such complete devotion to me. I’d never had that connection before.”
Suddenly, Linda’s idyllic world was rocked to the core. A routine mammogram revealed a lump in her breast. When further tests confirmed cancer, Linda began an arduous one-year battle to rid herself of the disease.
“You always think that cancer happens to other people,” Linda said, “and now it was happening to me. I was scared and shocked, and I kept thinking about my husband, children, grandchildren, and animals. Especially Prince. I wondered how they would make it without me.”
Linda underwent a bilateral mastectomy and went home the next day with both breasts gone and a tremendous feeling of loss. But she tried to remain strong and upbeat for her family.
Soon Linda was able to get out and take short walks again. Prince was always by her side. “I think he knew that something was not quite right with his mama. Because he saw the tears that I couldn’t let anyone else in the family see. But his strength gave me strength and the confidence that I could beat this. And he was one of the reasons I had to win this battle,” she said.
Just as Linda was feeling her health return to normal, Prince passed away quite suddenly. He had been a perfectly healthy dog in the prime of his life. “His passing was a deep shock for me. We were on a walk. Suddenly, he lay down. Within minutes, he was gone. I held him in my arms and wept, begging him through my tears not to leave me. He was instrumental in helping me battle cancer. He was my rock while I was recovering, the one being I felt I could be completely vulnerable with because I wanted to be strong for my family. It was a tragic loss. After his passing, going for walks was painful and lonely but also therapeutic in a way because I could still see his footprints on the dirt trail. It was devastating to me when the first rain of the season washed his prints away and made his death so final.”
Knowing I was an animal communicator, Linda asked me if I could connect with Prince and get a final message from him. I emailed her days later:
I spent some time today connecting with Prince. When I asked him what he accomplished with you, Prince said three words: “Freedom and peace.” He told me that he is not holding on to anything connected to his death. And he wants you to let go of any guilt you may have. Maybe that’s what he meant when he said freedom and peace. Maybe he wants you to be at peace because that will set you free from the memories. If you can be at peace like he is, then you’ll have freedom.
When I interviewed her for this story, I asked Linda what she would say to Prince if she could see him once more.
“I’m not sure I would say anything,” she said. Then, after a pause, she continued, “It would give me so much comfort to feel Prince’s presence again, but I never have. I have a wonderful life and a lot to be thankful for, but I still miss him. I learned so much about loyalty and devotion from him. He saved my life. He gave me the courage to get through cancer. I think he knew when I was well. Because that’s when he left me. If I could see him again, I’d just hold him and love him. And thank him for being the amazing dog that he was.”
Dobie Houson is an activist for animal rights, an animal communicator, and the award-winning author of Finding Forever: The Dogs of Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, and Four-Legged Wisdom: Sacred Stories from an Animal Communicator. An ardent activist for animal rescue, Houson is founder and executive director of Finding Forever, a foundation dedicated to raising money and awareness for animal rescue causes through the arts. Learn more at:
Toys that teach children something are always popular. They keep kids of all ages entertained and helps them develop important skills.
Christmas is less than a month away which means you are thinking about gifts that you might like to give to your loved ones this year. Grandkids are a special treat because they grow up so fast and the one toy we thought would last a long time, isn’t so interesting anymore. Therefore, it’s important to find a toy that will keep them occupied for some time. Most toys that are like that tend to teach children something. It doesn’t have to be a teaching toy as long as it keeps them entertained and helps them develop a skill.
Here is a list of interesting toys that young children might enjoy this Christmas:
Twist and Drill
Twist and Drill is a toy for future engineers because it develops a child’s logical thinking and problem-solving skills using a hammer, screw and a drill. The toy is suitable for any child that shows interest in creating things because the goal of the game is to make an unusual car. It is easy to put together since it’s made from cardboard. Don’t be surprised if you see an adult playing along with the child building a car together. The game is not recommended for children under the 3 years of age.
Tobbles is a game that allows the child to create a masterpiece. The goal is to have fun stacking the pieces one on top of the other. This game develops the toddler’s fine motor skills, coordination and visual spatial acuity. It provides hours of fun and will make you want to play with it too! The game is not recommended for children under the age of one.
Teething is not the best feeling in the world for your baby but a good chewing toy goes a long way to help both you and the child get through this phase. The best toy is one that the baby can grasp and hold. It needs to have an appealing texture yet be firm enough to provide resistance when the baby bites into it.
Hide-and-Seek at the Farm
This child’s book is the perfect gift for the baby’s first book. The entire book is made in vibrant colors which will catch the baby’s eyes and the audio incorporated into the book will keep your baby calm. This book has more than 30 storylines that the child can enjoy for a long time.
The teddy bear is an old-fashioned toy that doesn’t have batteries to provide audio or video. However, it is one that children around the world have loved and played with for years. It doesn’t have to be strictly a bear; it can be a giraffe, a cat or a dog. A monkey is a big favorite with some children but any cuddly animal would make a young child very happy.
About the Author:
Mark is a blogger who has a blog about foosball. He loves to write about it because it helps people realize how great it is. On his blog, you can find everything you need to know about foosball. If it interests you, start with the foosball table reviews.
When I get together with other baby boom military kids, we frequently talk about how we turned out “different” from civilian kids.
I was one of the first baby-boomers, born to a father in the Army. When I get together with other baby boom military kids, we frequently talk about how we turned out “different” from civilian kids.
One reason is that our families moved so much. It became normal for our family to move every two to three years, sometimes more often. It was normal to have to leave friends or to have them leave us. It never occurred to us that many other kids lived a completely different life. Friends were nice to have, but they were temporary. As were schools. We always had to start at new schools, often in the middle of a school year. (My first wife grew up, all the way through college, inone house. I was amazed and envious.)
But there’s something else, something that military kids born later didn’t experience. Our dads had been through four years of long, bloody, slogging-it-out violent warfare. Even if they weren’t on the front lines, and most weren’t, they worked to support the fighting men. In short, they lived an existence centered around organized violence. They reacted to that by turning inward. It’s common to talk of the “greatest generation,” but our dads also became the “silent generation.” To the universal question we kids asked, “Dad did you kill anyone during the war,” they either said “no,” which may or may not have been true or changed the topic. They didn’t talk about the violence they had endured, witnessed, or perhaps inflicted. That closed them off from us and our mothers, which closed us kids off from others, without our realizing it.
I always had kids I was friendly with but I never had that many close friends, something that plagued my adulthood as well. I’m sure a lot of that was my introverted personality but some part was due to the military life of moving frequently and the “secret life” our dads had lived during the war. I never really expected that I’d stay somewhere very long, or, if I had a friend, that they’d stay on the same base for very long. Later, we’d move much less but by then subconscious patterns may have set in: life moves on, people change, and that’s just the way it is. And that is the way life is, military or civilian. After high school, after college, after graduate or professional school, after leaving a job, suddenly all the people we’d known and been friends with were gone. After the “we’ll stay in touch” goodbyes, in fact, people don’t stay in touch. That may have changed a bit since the advent of social media but probably not by much.
Our experiences led to a certain “closing down” as well as it’s opposite, a certain unrequited longing for the time when we did have close, intense, relationships, even if time limited. The closing down sense really came home to me when I worked in a very intense law firm, where new lawyers were expected to “produce” immediately, generating high billable hours and preferably new clients as well. After a year or so, if lawyers didn’t seem “on track” (a firm buzzword) to meet the firm’s expectations, they were quietly but ruthlessly “counseled out” of the firm. As a result, I noticed that, when I met a new lawyer I liked, I was reluctant to think of a deep friendship because I thought the odds were that person wouldn’t be around in a year (or I might not be around).
The almost opposite effect is seen when people who were in the military or who were good athletes continually reminisce about what they see as those wonderful, intense years of what they recall as close bonding, although at the time they were probably miserable. Again turning to my legal experience, I remember the crushing 16-hour days of emergency cases but I forget the hours and remember the experiences as sort of a high. But always the athletic season comes to an end, the military service is over, or legal case ends. The team breaks up and everyone goes on to other experiences and other teams. Then years later, they will seek to replicate that which cannot be replicated or will view the past with regret and despair that they didn’t have more of those experiences. We all have losses of this kind, no matter where or how we grew up. But for a military kid, they come at early developmental stages, maybe stunting the ability we’ll need as adults to weather similar losses and changes.
About the Author:
John Wagner, one of the first Baby Boomers, has plenty of degrees and honors. He graduated from Colorado Western University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin Law School. His favorite award is the “That’s Not The Right Question” Award created for him by his class at the University of Chicago. He loves all kinds of music, from the Grateful Dead to Richard Wagner (no relation). He has owned four Studebakers. A military kid, he traveled widely when young and still does. He’s shared his experiences in his memoir, Baby Boomer Army Brat. To learn more about him, visit www.johnpwagner.com